The outdoors can change your life. It really does makes a HUGE difference on your day to day. And it is important to note that when I say “outdoors” I don’t mean being out in the wilderness and in nature (sure, that is ideal, but you don’t have to go on a mountain hike to reap some benefits). In fact, my current outdoors is composed by the New York City rooftops (rain or shine). The thing is that it is super easy to get caught up on our day to day. Stuck on a routine or glued to a screen. All this makes us shortsighted to what the direction our life is taking. It keeps us “entertained” and too busy to take a moment to evaluate and visualize. Being outdoors, with none of these distractions, sort of forces us to “wake up” from our everyday – specially if we are alone or in comfortable company.
Just thinking out loud, here …honestly, I think this is why so many people smoke – (and I am not saying you should, at all! I am now actually super allergic to cigarette smoke) but I have to acknowledge that smoking is something that forces you to stop the world around you and take a moment. That is partly why it is so relaxing to some people. It is an excuse to step out of the chaos -if only for a moment and make a bit of room for yourself.
But what if we could make that pause a habit and make it with purpose and without a vice? I guarantee you, everything around you would change. It is basically a form of meditation.
And I know this is easier said than done, but here are 5 points on HOW and WHY the outdoors can chance your life.
1. It forces us to disconnect form screens and people. INSTANT DETOX.
Have you seen that the new Iphone XS can tell you your “screen time”? The first time I saw that, I was shocked and quite frankly, embarrassed – And that did not even include the time I spend infront of a computer! Yet, I have to say, I am SURE The 5+ hours I spend daily is not abnormal. When my little koala was born I found myself prioritizing her and my phone lost it’s glorified priority. As I return to the grind, I realize how GOOD it felt to look up from that screen more often and simply appreciate who and what is around me and just LIVE a bit more offline. Sometimes, we simply have to be outside of a building and in movement to make this happen.
2. It helps us make a pause and catch up with ourselves. To realize how we are feeling, what we need. What we want.
When we go outdoors, we tend to pay a different sort of attention to our surroundings. Weather it is trees, cars or buildings, we look at them more attently than when we are indoors, surrounded by stale inanimate objects. Just pay a bit more attention when you are walking down the street. Your mind wonders right? But unconsciously you are taking a break, and it just breaks the routine a bit. Now imagine if you gave purpose to this break and used it to reconnect with yourself? Just ask, how you are feeling, why. What you need. As a new mom, I can tell you taking a stroll to the park (with her sleeping in her stroller) and asking myself these things has made a HUGE difference. It has made me realize that in spite of all the readjustments, the soar body, lack of sleep and all – I still feel incredibly grateful and happy for being able to live this. . . It has also helped me realize I am in a bad mood because I am STARVING and have forgotten to eat! ha! (true story – and it has happened more than once!) I tell, you, it makes a difference.
3. New surroundings = New ideas
I am sorry but, WHO gets inspired looking at the same screen, the same wall, the same office day after day after day? Not me. Ideally we would indulge in wanderlust, pack up and go traveling – but not all of us can go on a world trip every summer, so the next best thing is making an effort to change our surroundings. Get off the sofa and out of the comfort zone. You will find, it helps your cogs going in a different direction.
4. SPACE makes you feel better
SPACE. Specially in cities where houses are SO small (like Manhattan). I don’t know if it has to do with the mind-body connection or if just having more “air space” over our heads gives us a sense of freedom but it does. And you know what? IT FEELS GREAT. It literally removes whatever is dividing you and the rest of the world. The sky becomes the limit – literally! and that, to an unconscious and energetic level is incredibly powerful.
5. The Outdoors help you put things into perspective
You don’t admire a work of art from up close alone. You need to give it some distance. This is true for everything. EVERYTHING. Work, ideas. Relationships. Fights. Infatuations. We often sleep on things, but have you taken the time to look at them from the OUTSIDE? Try it. I guarantee it will change your life.
So next time you are feeling overwhelmed, stuck in a rut, bored or tiered, GO OUTSIDE, and make room for yourself. The outdoors can change your life
What do you think? Have you been doing this without even noticing (maybe going to rooftop bars, or going for a run?) I would love to hear how the outdoors help you decompress! Leave a comment and tell the community how you are making the time! and if you are -thats amazing! IT is not always easy with our hectic lives. It is totally an art!
And BTW – I got a lot of DMs and Comments asking about the sweater, so here it is!